Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Partnerships with arts organizations to enhance programs

As mentioned in my February 2, 2018 ALSC post (Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations), the arts provide many entry points for youth participation. It encourages individuality, exploration and the process is as important as the outcome. This past year, my colleague Becca Tanen,  DC Public Library’s Children’s Librarian for the Center for Accessibility, wanted to explore theater based activities for program enhancement. So she decided to do a partnership with a theater company. After researching organizations with experience creating universally designed programs, she reached out to Imagination Stage (IStage) for the partnership with this endeavor. IStage is one of DC’s renowned regional youth theater organizations, Partnership Goals and Process The partnership goals were to learn new program ideas through theater and to offer a different type of activity for all children – meaning there are no barriers to participation. Below Becca describes her experience with this collaboration. “The workshops were…

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Children’s Librarians are Experts at …School Readiness

The King County Library System has been partnering with its local Child Care Resources to bring Kaleidoscope Play and Learn to the communities we serve. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is a school readiness program coordinated by Washington State’s Child Care Resources.  Many children ages birth to 5 are not enrolled in formal early learning programs or licensed child care.   The purpose of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn (KP&L) is to work with family, friend and neighbor caregivers, and parents to provide support in preparing their children for success in school and life through quality early childhood experiences.  The program consists of weekly, facilitated groups of 90 minutes or more.  Each session begins with child-directed play and concludes with a coordinated large group activity.  At the library the large group activity is story time, of course!  Children and caregivers participate in open-ended, child-directed play, choosing from a variety of play centers, which…

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Daddy & Me: A Partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and NYC Department of Corrections

On any given day, the New York City Jails have a population of almost ten thousand inmates.* The Brooklyn Public Library, along with the New York Public Library, have dedicated outreach teams that provide library services through a partnership with the NYC Department of Corrections. In addition to offering library lending services inside the facilities, the library has attempted to create ways to connect the people who are detained to their families and communities. This includes the library Televisit program, which allows families to visit select library locations in order to communicate to incarcerated individuals via video chats, and the Daddy & Me Program that takes place in the jail facilities. Recently I joined my colleague Nick Franklin, the coordinator of Jail and Prison Services for the Brooklyn Public Library, on a bus trip to the NYC Jail located on Rikers Island. We were on our way to Family Day,…

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Getting Creative with Partnerships – Public Libraries and Community Arts Organizations

As children’s librarians, most of us excel at presenting programs based around our professional and educational training – early literacy storytimes, children’s literature book discussions, or library and research skills classes. We all draw from our unique, diverse backgrounds to provide other types of programs as well, in areas like STEAM for instance. However, no one librarian, or even library department or system, can present programs on every topic of interest to their community on their own. Programming is an area where building relationships with other community organizations can be especially beneficial. In particular, organizations related to the creative arts, such as music, theater, and writing, can be a great fit for collaborating with libraries. What are some of the benefits to working with these community arts organizations? Adds variety to the types of library programs available to patrons. Regular patrons will be pleased that you’re providing them with more…

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Who Are Your Library Partners?

Forming partnerships allows libraries to expand their services, share their expertise and strengthen their position in the community. Additionally, working with other organizations to support youth services in libraries is a two-way street, where the partnering organization benefits, as well as the library. The ALSC Building Partnerships Committee helps identify and share information about building effective, cooperative and innovative partnerships. Linked below is our growing list of organizations that support Youth Services. Organizations Supporting Youth Services    We want to hear from you. What successful partnerships has your library cultivated recently? [contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form] Jackie Cassidy engages children and families in a love of reading and sparks their passion for learning as a librarian at Harford County Public Library in Maryland. She is Co-Chair of the Building Partnership Committee.    This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency:…

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Connecting with Local Officials @ the Library

When thinking about new partnerships to cultivate at your library, your local elected officials may not be the first people to come to mind—especially if they are not already library supporters. However, there can be significant benefits to creating partnerships with your local officials. You can show the impact of libraries firsthand, engage in direct advocacy, and connect the community with their elected officials. At Ramsey County Library, in suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota, we chose National Library Week as a perfect opportunity to invite members of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners to visit storytimes as special guest stars.  Inviting them for a specific event and purpose really allowed us to set the expectations of what would happen and what we wanted to accomplish. Rather than seeing this as simply inviting someone to “read a book to kids,” we framed it as an opportunity for the Commissioners to visit the…

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Libraries Partner with Community Agencies to Help Fight Food Insecurity

The Realities of Food Insecurity Food insecurity is a growing problem across the nation. Food security is a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way to measure the risk of hunger. Currently in the United States, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger.[1] Food insecurity can cause individuals and families to make extremely difficult choices between buying food and paying bills. These choices can affect the ability of children to learn and grow, the ability of seniors to seek critical healthcare, and can cause health complications for people of all ages. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 41.2 million people lived in food- insecure households in 2016. 8 million adults lived in households with very little food security and 6.5 million children lived in food-insecure households.[2] This problem…

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Bilingual Outreach at the Doctor’s Office

One of the most formidable aspects of public library work is reaching out to community members who are not current library users. This challenge can be made more daunting when trying to reach immigrant and non-English speaking populations who may not be present at more typical outreach events like back-to-school nights. Meeting these groups where they are is important as many times they have not previously used libraries and are not sure what services we provide or if they are able to get a library card. To bridge this gap, Alexandria Library staff members have been visiting a local doctor’s office in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood for the last three years. Every Monday morning at 8:30am, Patricia Amaya and Christian Reynolds arrive wearing aprons embroidered with the library logo to engage parents and children while they wait for their appointments. Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, talks with adults about what the…